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Return to Wholeness: A Message from Imam Siraj Wahhaj


nasihah_help_imam_siraj_posterThe following message from Imam Siraj was received in a MANA e-letter. You can sign up to receive the newsletter by going to MANA’s website. You can join an online fundraiser for Imam Siraj by checking out this site. The fundraiser features the star-caste of Yasir Qadhi, Suhaib Webb, Zaid Shakir and Faraz Rabbani.

As Salamu Alaikum, Dear Brothers and Sisters!

I am happy to announce that Allah, Most High, has blessed me tremendously in my battle with hypertension and prostate cancer. Treatment for the cancer is going very well; my hypertension is very much under control; and I feel strong and invigorated. Alhamdulillah!

I am so thankful to Allah for all the support I’ve received from so many Muslims, as well as some non-Muslims. I am a firm believer in the power of du’a (supplication). The Prophet (pbuh) has encouraged us to make du’a for one another, and I can definitely feel the effects of your du’as. It truly works! I know how badly I was feeling not so long ago, and I how GREAT I am feeling now. Subhan’Allah! In addition to your du’as, I am also very humbled by and appreciative of the contributions many of you have sent for me and my family. I feel a real connection to all of you. Every time I eat a morsel of bread, drink a sip of water, take medication or receive treatment, I feel that part of the reward will go to all those who have so generously helped me. And you, the Ummah of Muhammad (s), will share in the reward of my return to good health, insha’Allah.

I want to share something with you that has been constantly on my mind. Allah mentions in His Qur’an: “laa taqtuluu anfusakum”, i.e., “do not kill yourselves” (4:29). My advice to the Muslim Ummah, (as well as to others), is “Let us stop killing ourselves”. The most surprising thing to me when I first visited Mecca in 1978, was to see how many Muslims smoked cigarettes. According to the World Health Organization, if the nations of the world do nothing, as many as one billion people will die as a result of smoking cigarettes in the 21st century. That is an obscene number of preventable deaths! Without a doubt, cigarette smoking is HARAM and is absolutely prohibited in Al Islam! (See Fatawa Islamiyah)

EVERY doctor who will ever examine you will ask you three questions: 1) Do you smoke cigarettes, 2) Do you drink alcohol, and 3) Do you take drugs? If we practice our Islam, we should at least be free from these “suicidal” drugs. I hope to go on a Jihad in the very near future to help eliminate cigarette smoking in our Ummah, insha’Allah. But, while cigarette smoking, alcohol and drugs are more obvious vices, there are other subtle ways in which we are killing ourselves. One way is by what we eat, and therefore, it is imperative that we become more conscious of our eating habits. It is no accident that the first sin of our father, Adam (pbuh), is something that he ATE! We are literally eating ourselves to death. Diabetes, hypertension and many other diseases are the result of our diets. Insha’Allah MANA, as well as other organizations, will advance initiatives that promote healthy eating and healthy living. How do we prepare our foods? How much do we eat? What do we eat? These are all questions that we have to answer. I now feel compelled to help in any way that I can to bring experts to help inform us of what is best for us. Insha’Allah, more to come about that in the future. A word of caution: many people will be upset to learn the truth about the poor quality of foods we’ve been eating for so many years. Most of which, nutritionally speaking, does not qualify to be called “food”.

In closing, while I do feel invigorated, I have to remind myself, as well as others, that I am still is the process of healing and must take it easy. Although I have recently done a few khutbahs and taught a few classes, I must take time away in order to focus my energy on healing and restoration. Please know that I look forward to getting back to work in a regular capacity because I belong to you-the community-no doubt about it!

Insha’Allah, in future MANA newsletters you’ll hear from our Deputy Amir, Imam Al-Hajj Talib ‘Abdur-Rashid, a true soldier and servant of Allah. Once again, thank you for supporting me and my family, and for your ongoing support of MANA. May Allah, Most High, guide and protect us all. JazakAllah khairan!

Your brother in faith,

Imam Siraj Wahhaj

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Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").



  1. Pingback: Topics about Familylife » Return to Wholeness: A Message from Imam Siraj Wahhaj

  2. Amatullah

    March 31, 2009 at 9:22 PM

    May Allah bless Imam Siraj!

    He’s so right about our diets and smoking…I have lost count of how many Muslims I’ve met who have a family history of diabetes (not just one cultural background)

    InshaAllah can’t wait for the programs he discussed to come out.

    Here’s a site I really like:

  3. hijabandroses

    March 31, 2009 at 10:52 PM

    As Salamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh

    Subhan Allah for your continuing recovery Iman Siraj Wahhaj. You touched upon so many vital points that we as Muslims, and as humans in general need to take into consideration. Alhamdulillah, we can make one small change in our life via better eating habits or exercise etc. and especially increasing our Iman.

    May you continue to receive good health, insha’Allah and the continued du’as of all you meet and those who read your article. Alhamdulillah for sharing this article. It was a reminder to make myself a priority for good health physically and emotionally…thus making me a better Muslimah for my family and Ummah.

    Shukran for the information and I look forward to reading more from you in the near future, insha’Allah. Jazak Allah Khairum.

  4. abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

    April 1, 2009 at 12:01 AM

    mashaAllah, and may Allah make his illness and the toughness of recovery a purification for him, and may He speed and make easy his recovery and not lessen his reward. and may Allah bless us with daaees who call to Islam with ihsaan, like Imam Siraj — not just salvation for the soul, but the improvement of the character, and the redemption of the mind and body. Alhamdolillah! Alhamdolillah Who gave us His Deen, and chose us for it. ameen.

  5. MR

    April 1, 2009 at 12:24 AM

    May Allah preserve Imam Siraj!

  6. Ammar

    April 1, 2009 at 12:41 AM

    I live in Pakistan, and am saddened to see how many brothers sporting full beards and with their pants above their ankles stand around smoking cigarettes as if it’s completely halal. While the rest of the world latches onto the dangers of smoking and is taking active steps to discourage it, this trend is actually increasing in South-East Asia.

    Just another example of how we’ve just confined our deen to salat, fasting etc and ignore so many other aspects of it.

    On a side note, I’m looking forward to the sheikh’s upcoming lectures about healthy eating… I was actually hoping to start finding out abt Sunnat diet and start applying it IA

  7. Slim |

    April 1, 2009 at 9:52 AM

    May Allah give Shifa to our dear brother, Imam Siraj Wahaj.

    Good points brought up. I definitely agree with the problems with Cigarettes. Even though I don’t smoke, I have relatives from other parts of the world who do. It is much more part of other cultures than the North American culture.

    I know that many of my relatives have tried to quit but bad habits always takes a while. Just like a spiritual disease of the heart, a physical disease of the body is also quite challenging to remove.

    Food is also another big issue and you can really see that many people are starting to look into healthier, more natural foods (just look at the increase of organic, minimal ingredient foods available at the stores nowadays). There is still a long way to go but I think that people are starting to get better.

    Slim |

  8. Zaynab

    April 1, 2009 at 10:44 AM

    “mashaAllah, and may Allah make his illness and the toughness of recovery a purification for him, and may He speed and make easy his recovery and not lessen his reward. and may Allah bless us with daaees who call to Islam with ihsaan, like Imam Siraj — not just salvation for the soul, but the improvement of the character, and the redemption of the mind and body. Alhamdolillah! Alhamdolillah Who gave us His Deen, and chose us for it. ameen.”


    This line was so beautiful “Please know that I look forward to getting back to work in a regular capacity because I belong to you-the community-no doubt about it!”
    May Allah grant Imam Siraj Jannah al-firdous insha’Allah

  9. Nihal Khan

    April 1, 2009 at 9:46 PM

    Amad…I love you :)

  10. Nihal Khan

    April 1, 2009 at 9:53 PM

    You can also sent letters of gratitude to Imam Siraj by sending them to

  11. Amad

    April 1, 2009 at 9:58 PM

    Nihal, keep up the good work with your effort (not just talk, but walking the talk) for Imam Siraj.

    Please let him know that he will always find all of us at MM as his biggest fans and supporters.


  12. sabiwabi

    April 2, 2009 at 12:09 PM




  13. rahma

    April 2, 2009 at 1:34 PM

    MashaAllah. If anyone knows how to get in touch with the Imam, could they recommend he read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food? It’s right along this line of thinking – approaching the food stuff we’re eating and returning back to eating real food.

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  15. Nihal Khan

    April 2, 2009 at 3:32 PM

    Sh. Hamza Yusuf is CONFIRMED via recording.

  16. Nihal Khan

    April 2, 2009 at 4:27 PM

    Trailer for the event is ready –

  17. AsimG

    April 2, 2009 at 4:50 PM

    SubhanAllah, all these different shuyookh coming together for their love and support of Imam Siraj Wahaj, it is just amazing.

    I remember running around ISNA as a little kid hearing Imam Siraj Wahaj and Shaykh Hamza Yusuf talking. May Allah preserve them both!

  18. Pingback: A Return to Wholeness « Oy, Habibti….

  19. Merlin45

    October 23, 2009 at 6:29 AM

    Most of the time people can do it, but there are some individuals that simply cannot. ,

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